Business Blogging in 60 Minutes a Week 3: Outline and Collect

Outline and collect

One of the most useful books I’ve ever read is A Writer’s Time: Making the Time to Write, by Kenneth Atchity. I read it years ago, and commend it to you. Although I haven’t read it in decades, here’s what stuck with me — Atchity points out that starting a project is difficult. You’re fighting against inertia. Once you’ve got a project moving, it proceeds quickly.

If you can avoid this “starting” time in your blogging, you’ll be able to create a powerful business blog in under sixty minutes each week.

The easiest way to fight this natural inertia is by scheduling some “collection and outline” time.

Batch-create starting points for your blog posts: weekly, or monthly

Schedule 20 minutes each week, to outline your blog posts, and collect resources for them.

Your resources might include:

* Images;

* Facts and figures;

* Quotes from customers;

* Marketing materials for inspiration.

Once you’ve collected your resources, make a list of topics you want to cover on the blog. Keep the list somewhere you’ll find it easy, so you can add to it when you get an idea. I keep my blogs’ topics lists in Simplenote.

Your next step is to do some keyword research. Use your favorite tool. My current favorite is Keyword Eye.

Keyword Tool

As you can see in the image above, Keyword Eye gives you a word cloud of keyword terms related to your topic. I used the term “website design” and ended up with the image above.

Next, brainstorm blog post titles. Don’t agonize over this, you can always change them later.

Add several points you want to make in each post underneath the title. If the post will be a photo, just make a note: “need ten office photos’. (Why ten? Any number will do, but always take more photos than you’ll need.)

If you’re using a WordPress blog, you can use the Editorial Calendar plugin, to create draft posts. Most blogging platforms will create draft posts for you, so check the Help files of your platform if you’re not sure how to do this.

All done. Your blog posts are almost ready.

On another day, complete a post or two, and schedule their publication time and date on the blog.

Image credit